This is the first year I was planning on doing any cosplay, and as I read through the rules and regulation for DragonCon I noticed that was a specific prohibition on “realistic weapons,” defined only as something that might get you in trouble with the local authorities. This gave me pause, because my UNIT private costume included both a rifle and a handgun. They’re plastic replicas and not terribly convincing, but I decided that I’d be prepared to not use them if necessary. I couldn’t really remember if I’d seen costumes with realistic weapons in the past. Ray guns and Halo rifles, sure, but realistic weapons? I wasn’t sure.

My fears were somewhat allayed by Thursday night, which became an impromptu party night in the Marriott hotel. There were several costumes with weapon as realistic or more realistic than mine. But the point where I realized I had nothing — NOTHING — to worry about was Friday morning, when I went over to the Bank of America in the Peachtree Center, and this guy was hanging around outside, in basically a white variant of this costume.

Nick Fury

Yes, with the gun. And if he wasn’t getting hassled, I was pretty sure I would be okay.